100 Very Best Restaurant 2016: Ser

SER brings traditional Spanish dishes like seafood paella (above), sangria, and a big outdoor patio to Ballston. Photography by Andrew Propp.

The crisp-skinned suckling pig at this Modern Spanish spot is one of the most compelling dishes around. Not just because it’s tasty but because it’s “carved” with the edge of a plate instead of a knife. Co-owner Javier Candon (his partner is Josu Zubikarai, formerly of Taberna del Alabardero) does the deed with both nonchalance and flair. Other offerings—charcuterie and cheese, tapas, and larger plates—don’t have the pomp of the pig, but there are pleasures to be found. Classic small plates such as shrimp with a hit of garlic and cayenne or fried baby eels evoke tapas crawls in Madrid. So, too, the list of wines and sherries and a dining room splashed in Mediterranean oranges and yellows.

Don’t miss: Chicken-and-ham croquetas; grilled anchovies; percebes (gooseneck barnacles); tortilla de patatas (a potato omelet); fried potato wedges; fried Padrón peppers with Maldon salt; lamb stew; Cornish game hen with pine nuts; flan.

See what other restaurants made our 100 Very Best Restaurants list. This article appears in our February 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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